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Emergency needs likely to increase during the peak of the lean season

  • Food Security Outlook
  • Mozambique
  • October 2016 - May 2017
Emergency needs likely to increase during the peak of the lean season

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  • Key Messages
  • Assumptions
  • Most Likely Food Security Outcomes
  • Key Messages
    • As the country is now experiencing the typical effects of the lean season, FEWS NET estimates that between October and December, nearly 1.8 million people will likely face Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes, requiring urgent humanitarian assistance. A smaller number of worst-affected households, especially in the conflict areas, are likely in Emergency (IPC Phase 4), but overall needs are expected to grow and peak in January/February 2017. Assistance is currently ongoing in various areas and through different methods, helping to mitigate food insecurity outcomes. 

    • From January to March 2017, FEWS NET expects the number of people in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) or worse to grow to nearly 2.3 million, including those potentially flood-affected. Though there are plans and some pledged funding through March/April, there is currently no assurance that the level of required humanitarian assistance will be implemented in a timely manner. In the absence of adequate and sustained assistance through the peak of the lean season, the number of households facing Emergency (IPC Phase 4) outcomes is likely to increase in the South and some central areas during this period. 

    • Land clearing/preparation and planting are underway in southern and central areas where the forecast points to normal to above-normal rainfall during the first half of the season. Green food will become available in the South in February, followed by the harvest in March. From April onwards, with the harvested crops, most areas will be accessing their own produced food and will likely move to Stressed (IPC Phase 2) or Minimal (IPC Phase 1) acute food insecurity.

    • Volumes of staple foods and commodities are adequately supplied in most monitored markets, with the exception of parts of the South where maize grain is well below average. Maize grain price behavior was mixed between August and September but remains 120 percent above last year and 182 percent above the five-year average. These high prices are expected to continue through February, hindering food access for the poor. Maize flows are slightly constrained, particularly from north to south, due to the ongoing political-military tensions. 


    Current Situation

    Current Food Security

    • The lean season started earlier than usual this year in August, instead of in October, across much of the southern and central regions due to rapid dwindling food stocks and limited income at the household level caused by two consecutive years of poor crop production related to drought conditions. The 2015/16 season, in particular, was affected by a severe drought, which was linked to one of the strongest El Niño’s ever-recorded. Based on estimates by FEWS NET, currently there are nearly 1.8 million people in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) or worse, requiring emergency humanitarian assistance. The majority of rural households not affected by drought are able to meet their basic food needs and are facing None (IPC Phase 1) food insecurity outcomes due largely to the availability of their own produced food stocks at the household level, second season vegetable production, and local food purchases.
    • According to the Technical Secretariat of Food Security and Nutrition’s (SETSAN) August Acute IPC analysis, data gathered using Food Consumption Score (FCS) indicators showed that in Gaza Province there are 26 percent of households with poor food consumption, followed by Manica (20 percent), Sofala (16 percent), Tete (14 percent), and Inhambane (11 percent). All other provinces have less than 10 percent of households with poor food consumption. Data collected for Reduced Coping Strategies Index (rCSI), a food security indicator that focuses on the use of consumption-based coping strategies, indicated that at least 25 percent of households in Gaza, Maputo, Sofala, and Zambézia have reduced the number of meals overall, while the reduction of consumption of food in adults for the benefit of children was highest in Maputo, Manica, and Zambézia. In addition, many households, such as those headed by single-mothers or the elderly, who are unable to engage in other labor opportunities, are having to solely rely on the consumption of wild foods and humanitarian assistance. However, the drought has also reduced the availability of typical wild foods. In general, the northern provinces have employed less consumption-based coping strategies due to greater food availability.

    2016/17 Agricultural Season Preparations

    • The 2016/17 cropping season was officially launched by the Government of Mozambique on October 28, a bit later than usual. Land preparation started in September in most areas in the South and parts of the central region in October, and is expected to gradually extend to the northern region by early November. According to the Crop and Early Warning Unit (DCAP) from the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security (MASA), as of mid-October, land preparation in the southern region has reached 70 percent of the total planned area, while in the central and northern regions land preparation has reached 50 percent of the total planned area. In the coastal areas of the South, planting has already started, especially for maize grain, groundnuts, and cowpeas. In the central and northern regions, planting is expected to start between mid-November and mid-December when the rains will effectively begin.
    • Availability of agricultural inputs, mainly seeds, will be crucial to help farmers, particularly the drought-affected households, to take maximum advantage of the expected favorable agroclimatic conditions linked to La Niña-like effects. Usually poor households rely on their own seeds, but this year due to difficulties they are facing accessing food, some may end up consuming their seeds. The Government of Mozambique, in coordination with the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and other organizations, has been providing seeds to drought-affected households since August, and additional distributions are planned for the October to December period as indicated below (see assumption on inputs).


    • With the market continuing to be the major source of food for the majority of poor households in the southern and central regions, in order to obtain cash, households continue to do whatever is possible to earn income to allow them to make purchases. Opportunities for agricultural labor are gradually beginning and increasing, particularly related to land clearing, preparation, and planting. However, due to reduced payment power by the middle and better-off households, access to income through these activities may be delayed until after the harvest. Where agricultural labor activities are still unavailable, the poor households are occasionally selling chickens or other small animals in their possession at an accelerated rate when compared to average. Apart from the sale of poultry, households manage to get cash through the sale of casual labor, which includes construction activities, fetching water; and self-employment activities, including the collection and sale of natural products, such as grass, the cutting and sale of building poles, cane/reeds; the production and sale of charcoal; the gathering and sale of firewood; brewing; thatching; and handcrafting. However, some of the products, such as grass and reeds, are also affected by the drought, which has led to reduced availability and quality of these products for collection and sale. The production of traditional drinks is also affected by a lack of availability of the small grains required in the process. Also, with more and more people engaged in self-employment activities, opportunities to sell are reduced, limiting incomes. As the rains begin, some of these activities will be slightly curtailed despite the high demand for any income-earning opportunities.
    • Migration to neighboring South Africa in search of job opportunities continues at an increasing rate, often illegally. Due to difficulties in finding stable work in South Africa, most of these migrants are unable to send remittances to their relatives in Mozambique. Internally, entire households or household members are temporarily or sometimes permanently migrating from one place to another in search of places with better food security conditions. An unspecified number of people, particularly young people, are moving to areas with mining opportunities, particularly in Tete, Manica, and Zambézia provinces, so they can do subsistence or artisanal mining, usually illegally.

    Prices and Market Functioning

    • Volumes of staple foods and commodities are adequately supplied in most monitored markets, with the exception of parts of the South where maize grain is well below average due to the combination of lower production and the political-military tensions that are constraining normal circulation from north/center to south. According to the latest bulletin from the Market Information System (SIMA), the sources of food commodities are the same as usual, but in some markets, such as Chókwe, which is typically supplied by locally-produced maize, this year it is being supplied by the central region, particularly from Manica Province.
    • Maize grain prices between August and September showed a mixed pattern. Maize grain prices rose in Chimoio and Tete (10 percent), Gorongosa (11 percent), Mocuba (18 percent), and Maputo (34 percent), decreased in Beira (-12 percent), Chókwe (-9 percent), and were stable in Maxixe, Nampula, and Pemba. A comparison between this year’s prices and the five-year average shows that current prices are above average in all markets by 182 percent on average and above last year’s prices by 120 percent on average (see Figure 4).


    • Due to the ongoing political-military conflict, an undetermined number of people in central areas of the country have been displaced as they are trying to flee the conflict and find more secure areas. Those remaining are likely facing the worst food security outcomes, likely Emergency (IPC Phase 4), as poor households have focused their efforts on staying safe rather than on their livelihoods. These poor households are likely facing large food gaps, utilizing emergency coping mechanisms, and if the situation is unsustainable, they will be forced to move to secure areas where they can receive humanitarian assistance. The negative impacts of the ongoing political-military conflict are also affecting the Government of Mozambique and partners’ efforts to provide emergency humanitarian assistance to those in need in the remote affected areas.

    Humanitarian Assistance

    • According to the Food Security Cluster (FSC) partners, in September, approximately 320,330 people in Gaza, Inhambane, Sofala, and Tete provinces received food assistance through a combination of in-kind and voucher distributions. Based on current needs estimates of 1.8 million people, this assistance only covered 23 percent of total national needs in September. In Gaza and Inhambane, two particularly hard-hit areas, the coverage in September reached more than 60 percent of the total needs in those two provinces. USAID/Food for Peace, USAID/OFDA, DFID, SIDA, ECHO, as well as other donors and private organizations have all pledged funding for these forms of humanitarian assistance across all seven drought-affected provinces, including Maputo, Manica, and Zambézia, where there is currently no ongoing assistance by the Humanitarian Country Team (HCT), with expectations for assistance to last through March/April 2017. In addition, the Government of Mozambique has been providing and continues to plan on implementing emergency humanitarian assistance to fill needed gaps.
    • Currently, WFP and World Vision International (WVI) are distributing in-kind food rations that cover at least 50 percent of the minimum 2,100 kilocalories (kcal) per person per day (ppd). However, WFP is currently undertaking a budget/project review with a proposal to increase the in-kind quantity to cover about 90 percent of minimum daily needs. This will be almost consistent with what cash-based assistance provides currently and could be implemented as soon as the project is approved and resources made available. CHEMO, comprised of WVI and Food for the Hungry (FFH), and COSACA, a Consortium of NGOs composed of Concern, Oxfam, Save the Children, and CARE, are distributing vouchers worth USD 50 (converted into MZN) per household per month. Currently this voucher can buy food equivalent to cover about 90 percent of 2,100 kcal ppd. Given price fluctuations, coupled with the depreciating MZN, this same voucher is not likely to provide the same amount of food during the peak of the lean season when food prices are expected to be even higher, which will likely require an adjustment.


    National Assumptions

    The Food Security Outlook for October 2016 to May 2017 is based on the following national-level assumptions:

    Food availability

    • Maize grain deficit. According to FEWS NET estimates, partly based on the Water Requirements Satisfaction Index (WRSI) and on the preliminary Food Balance Sheet for the 2016/17 marketing year, there is an initial deficit of 393,000 MT of maize grain. This figure does not include any projected imports, which are officially estimated at 175,000 MT, and also does not exclude informal cross border exports estimated at 110,000 MT.
    • International maize imports. Maize is expected to be imported from South Africa through the existing commercial channels and mainly by the milling companies. According to WFP, maize grain is imported from Zambia, South Africa, and Malawi and complemented by local purchases.
    • Rice deficit. Based on official estimates, the national production of rice is estimated at 212,000 MT with initial stocks of 121,000. With estimated consumption needs of 574,000 MT, this will result in an initial deficit of 241,000 MT to be covered by near-average imports of nearly 220,000 MT, mainly from Asia, resulting in a deficit of 21,000 MT.

    Seasonal forecast

    • La Niña-like Impacts. According to NOAA, the latest forecast indicates La Niña-like impacts through the end of 2016. In addition, with a forecasted positive Subtropical Indian Ocean Dipole (SIOD) through early 2017, the majority of the country has a high likelihood of receiving normal to above-normal rainfall. Normal to below-normal rainfall is expected in the North in December, but the implications are minor given that the effective cropping season in this region will not start until mid-December. In March, the southern-most parts of Mozambique are likely to receive normal to below-normal rainfall, but this may fall after the harvest has already begun. (See Figure 5 below that depicts when rainfall typically begins across the country.)
    • Enhanced cyclone activity. Between December 2016 and March 2017, cyclone activity in the Southern Indian Ocean will be above average due to the forecasted positive SIOD and La Niña-like conditions through early 2017, which will increase the likelihood for cyclone strikes in Mozambique. The most frequent destination of cyclones are the coastal areas between Nampula and Inhambane provinces. In the event of a cyclone, the majority of affected households are likely to remain food secure, but the poorest households may temporarily face Stressed (IPC Phase 2) to Crisis (IPC Phase 3) food insecurity outcomes, requiring urgent humanitarian assistance. In drought-affected areas, there is the possibility that some households could experience worse outcomes. 


    • River levels begin to recover. The forecast for normal to above-normal rains is expected to replenish the river levels and the dams, beginning in November, but given the current dryness, the levels will still remain below typical levels during the first half of the season (October to December 2016) but may reach normal levels during the second half of the season (January to March 2017).


    • Moderate to severe flooding expected. Particularly associated with enhanced cyclone activity due to the La Niña-like impacts on rainfall, between December 2016 and March 2017, especially in flood-prone areas such as the Umbeluzi, Incomati, Mutamba, Inhanombe, Pungoe, Licungo, Ligonha, Meluli, Megaruma, Montepuez, Messalo, and Lugenda river basins, moderate to severe flooding is likely. In an event of floods, roads, bridges, and other infrastructure may be partially or totally impassable and/or destroyed. Flood water will endanger human and animal life and some displaced households will require emergency evacuation to secure places. Displaced households, particularly the poor and very poor, may need urgent humanitarian assistance, including shelter, food aid, health and sanitation care, because of the anticipated impact of floods on infrastructure, market access, and food prices. However, the effects are expected to be localized, and the number of affected households is expected to be relatively low due to the previous resettlement of at-risk populations.


    • If farmers have timely access to inputs and certified seeds, which is still unclear at this point, there is the potential for a good agricultural season. According to DCAP/MASA, in aiming to maximize the 2016/17 agricultural season and support the recovery process of the drought-affected households, the Government of Mozambique through MASA and with support from partners, is expected to provide certified seeds, including 480 MT of open-pollinated maize varieties (OPV), 80 MT of hybrid maize, 400 MT of rice, 100 MT of sorghum, and 100 MT of cowpeas. The support from MASA will also include the provision of 3,600 water pump motors and 2,000 irrigation-related kits. In parallel, FAO is also operationalizing a seed distribution plan to start by mid-November and cover nearly 42,000 households in Gaza, Tete, Sofala, and Manica provinces. The FAO seed distribution plan includes 7,500 kg of sorghum, 81,000 kg of cowpeas, 453,375 kg of OPV maize, and 4,050 kg of pumpkin. The quantity of seeds per household with FAO’s distribution will comprise of 12.5 kg of maize or five kg of sorghum, two kg of cowpeas, and 0.1 kg of pumpkin. A number of other NGOs, including CHEMO and COSACA, are also in the process of operationalizing their action plans for the provision of inputs, including certified seeds. While these efforts are not likely to meet all of the needs, they will help mitigate the poor households’ efforts to access needed seeds for the agricultural season.

    2016/17 Agricultural Prospects

    • Crop Production. Based on the rainfall forecast, favorable cropping conditions are expected across Mozambique for the 2016/17 agricultural season. As a result, near-average crop production is likely.
    • Wild foods. With the initial rains, from November, wild food availability will increase from its current below normal levels, providing a needed food source and some income as they are sold. Wild foods include, but are not limited to, NhicaMassanicaMalambe (baobab fruit), Macucua, and Xicutsi.
    • Green foods. Green foods are expected to be available in February 2017 in the southern region, March in the central region, and April in the northern region before the main harvest. Providing a much needed food source, green food availability is expected to be close to normal given the favorable agroclimatic conditions.

    Markets and Trade

    • Typical cross-border trade flows with Zimbabwe, while flows with Malawi will reduce significantly. During the scenario period, cross border trade with Zimbabwe is not expected to have any significant changes as trade is largely concentrated on manufactured items or processed foods near the border. On the other hand, the typically significant trade with Malawi, particularly for maize, will likely lead to reduced volumes due to Mozambique local measures at the district-level, preventing the flow of maize grain into Malawi.
    • Currency Depreciation. The exchange rate from USD to Metical (MZN) is still increasing and from October to February the depreciation of the MZN will likely continue at the same trend as it has over the past year. According to XE, in one year the exchange rate from USD to MZN increased 83 percent at variable monthly increases from 4.2 to 10.2 percent. In addition, from October 2016 to January 2017, the depreciation of the MZN to the South African Rand (ZAR) is likely to increase due to the expected increasing demand for the ZAR for purchases from South Africa.
    • Internal flow of commodities. Within the northern region, staple foods are intensively flowing; however, in the southern and central regions, the flow of food commodities is relatively slower this year as compared with average due to the below-average availability and the change in the traditional major source areas for food. Though there are flows from northern Tete province and from Manica, this year, the northern region has become the major source, but the number of traders willing to risk and be involved in transporting maize grain to the southern region is reduced due to the higher transaction costs and the insecurity along the major routes. While there is some flow from north to center, there are very little flows from north to south. This is likely to be the pattern throughout the entire consumption period unless the Government of Mozambique puts in place some measures to encourage this flow. For the crops that are traditionally originating from the northern region, such as common beans and groundnuts, the flow will remain closer to average except due to constraints by the conflict in localized areas along the routes.
    • Informal trade. Informal trade will continue being the major driving factor for the flow of food commodities from surplus areas to deficit areas. During the scenario period, the dynamic of the informal sector will be reduced as compared to normal due to the constraints caused by the ongoing conflict.
    • Above-average staple food prices. From October 2016 to February 2017, maize grain prices are expected to be sustained at above-average levels and will keep rising during the peak of the lean season, hitting about 180 percent above average in February in Gorongosa, which is a market that represents national trends. This year, with prospects of a good harvest, maize grain prices are expected to start decreasing from March/April, following the harvest. Maize meal prices, which typically are stable throughout the consumption period, will keep rising until February 2017 due to the lack of maize grain; thereafter, they will be expected to remain stable until the harvest in March/April. In Gorongosa, maize meal prices are expected to remain above the five-year average by 96 percent on average and above last year’s prices by 62 percent on average. Similarly, rice prices which are also typically stable throughout the consumption period, will remain above average and last year’s prices until February 2017 and then are expected to fall through May as household food availability increases following the harvest. In Gorongosa, rice prices are expected to be on average 117 percent above the five-year average and 89 percent above last year’s.

    Rangeland resources

    • Rangeland resources for livestock are expected to deteriorate prior to the start of the season from now until mid-November but expected to gradually start improving afterwards through the entire scenario period.


    • Movement. Households with livestock are expected to continue moving their livestock further from homesteads in search of pasture and water until the start of the rains. Beginning in December through May, trekking distances are likely to reduce significantly as pasture improves.
    • Body Conditions. From October until the start of the rains in November, livestock body conditions will likely deteriorate, and the livestock herd size is expected to fall due to death caused by shortage of pasture, water, and increased sales. However, by December, it is expected that body conditions will gradually improve throughout the rest of the scenario period.
    • Prices. From October until February, the prices of livestock in the South and central areas affected by drought are expected to be below average, up to 25 percent, due to poor body conditions and increased supply. (In other areas, cattle and goat prices will remain similar to 2015 levels.) However, it is expected the prices will gradually recover from March through the end of the scenario period as the rains will have improved body conditions and sales will have lessened with the start of the harvest.

    Agricultural labor availability and wage rates

    • Overall, given the favorable agroclimatic conditions for the 2016/17 agricultural season with the prospect of La Nina-like impacts, which are typically related to normal to above-normal rainfall, during the scenario period (October to May), agricultural labor opportunities are expected to be close to normal across the entire country. In the South and central areas, poor households are expected to earn near-average wages throughout the scenario period, but in-kind and other payment modalities are more likely than cash as the middle and better-off households face a reduced payment capacity following the drought. Some wealthy households are even likely to promise to pay a part or the full amount of wages after the harvest.

    Self-employment opportunities and income

    • While typical during the dry season from now until November, an ever larger number of poor households are engaged in self-employment activities to earn needed cash for food market purchases. As a result, opportunities to sell the services or goods and earn income has been reduced due to competition, except for charcoal because of the high urban demand, and some, like grass sales, have been limited by the drought conditions. Throughout the scenario period, with a slight dip during the height of the rains, it is expected all wealth groups will produce and sell charcoal and firewood, which has been gradually growing in recent years, particularly in the semiarid areas despite the environmental costs. However, once the rains begin and poor households focus on their own agricultural production, other self-employment opportunities, such as handcrafts, brew-making and construction, are expected to fall through May but not by the same amount as normal due to the income demands, which are usually provided by agricultural labor.
    • Migration to urban centers in Mozambique and South Africa, particularly in the South, is increasing, mainly by younger people, to largely engage in petty trade along the major informal trading centers. During the entire scenario period, the migration to these centers is expected to be above average due to the severity of the drought impacts.

    Emergency humanitarian assistance

    • During the peak of the lean season, from January to March 2017, FEWS NET estimates that 2.3 million people are projected to be facing Crisis (IPC Phase 3) acute food security outcomes or above, requiring emergency humanitarian assistance. (SETSAN will conduct a rapid assessment in a few selected areas in November, along with FEWS NET and other humanitarian partners, to re-evaluate this estimate.) Currently, there are plans and funded food assistance for approximately 1.1 million people across all seven drought-affected provinces that will be phased in all areas beginning in October 2016 through at least March 2017, according to the Humanitarian Country Team (HCT) as of October 24. The scale of pledged funding to date is likely to positively impact food security outcomes, but it currently covers less than 50 percent of the estimated total needs. Most importantly, given the current level of information on district coverage rates and beneficiaries for these programs, including uncertainty on its implementation with respect to timing, procurements, logistics, and accessibility issues, it is difficult to determine the exact level of impact of this assistance; and as a result, these programs were not included in FEWS NET’s analysis.

    Political-Military Conflict

    • In localized areas in the central region, specifically in parts of Sofala, Manica, Tete, and Zambézia provinces, many households are expected to migrate to more secure areas due to the ongoing political tensions. So far, an unspecified number of people have moved from Sofala to Manica Province and from Tete and Zambézia to neighboring Malawi. This trend is expected to continue during the entire scenario period unless mitigating measures are taken by the involved parties. The displaced households will be diverted from their livelihood activities, mainly related to agriculture, which may contribute to perpetuate their reliance on humanitarian assistance. School dropouts will also likely continue.
    • In addition, there are fears that insecurity in the central areas affected by the conflict may constrain efforts to reach the most in need of humanitarian assistance.


    • The national prevalence of Global Acute Malnutrition (GAM) in Mozambique is less than ten percent, and it is generally anticipated to remain below this level during the scenario period (October 2016 to May 2017). However, geographical disparities exist and there are currently higher levels of acute malnutrition in several districts in the Center and the North of the country (Tete, Sofala, Gaza, Zambézia, and Nampula). Nevertheless, the general level of acute malnutrition will likely deteriorate slightly across the country, and in some drought-affected areas GAM prevalence might be above 10 percent through the end of February 2017. This is due to the reduced access to quantity and diversified food until the next harvest and the expected continued rise in staple food prices. In addition, there are other factors that could also impact GAM prevalence including the likelihood of flooding and conflict, which could disrupt health services and access; the increased incidence of seasonal diseases, such as diarrhea and malaria; overall poor access to water and sanitation; and low nutrition rehabilitation program coverage. However, after the harvest in March 2017, the prevalence of acute malnutrition among children under five years old is expected to be reduced.

    Most Likely Food Security Outcomes

    From October to January 2017, the country will continue experiencing the typical effects of the lean season when most households will have exhausted their own produced food stocks, local food supplies are low, and prices for commodities are high. During this period, poor households will start expanding their livelihood and coping strategies to meet their food needs, but some of these strategies have been employed since August and may not net the same amount of income as previously. For example, poor households will continue to reduce expenditures on non-food items in order to be able to purchase staple foods. They will also intensify brewing activities, sell traditional drinks for income; cut and sell poles; sell natural products, such as firewood and charcoal; and seek casual farm labor, preparing the land and planting. Agricultural labor opportunities are expected to increase as the 2016/17 agricultural season gradually sets in and is expected to be close to average given the normal to above-normal La Niña-like rainfall forecast. Also, the onset of the November rains will provide a variety of wild and seasonal foods that will gradually improve food availability among poor households until the green food becomes available in February and March 2017. Seasonal fruits, including mangoes and cashew-nuts, will also be available in January.

    In the areas affected by drought and dry conditions during the previous season, Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes will continue as poor and very poor households will still be facing food consumption gaps even as they will be expanding their livelihood and coping strategies to help cover these gaps. FEWS NET ran a Household Economy Approach (HEA) Outcome Analysis in September, and this corroborates these expectations. For some poor households, the seasonal wild foods will be their only source of food. Some worst-affected populations, will experience larger gaps in their basic food needs and will be in Emergency (IPC Phase 4). In-kind food assistance and cash vouchers for market purchases are planned to a varying degree in the seven drought-affected provinces through at least December, likely mitigating food insecurity, but given the level of information on district coverage and beneficiary levels for these programs, it is difficult to determine their exact level of impact. In addition, the possible occurrence of moderate to severe flooding in late January, may disrupt the livelihoods of the affected households. Based on estimates from previous severe floods, more than 200,000 people, particularly the poor and very poor households already impacted by drought and/or not impacted by drought, could temporarily face Crisis (IPC Phase 3) or worse acute food insecurity outcomes if floods devastate homes and markets. Outside the flooded areas, the gradual availability of seasonal wild foods will support food availability. In non-affected drought areas of the country, Minimal (IPC Phase 1) acute food insecurity outcomes are expected to continue during this period.

    From February to May 2017, food availability in Mozambique will change dramatically from one extreme to another. In February, green food will gradually start becoming available in parts of the southern region, but overall the majority of poor households, who will be unable to access green food if it is not yet available, will still be dependent on coping strategies and market purchases. However, income is still expected to be low, and purchasing power will be constrained as prices are likely to still be peaking this month. In the southern region, particularly in Maputo and the coastal areas of Gaza and Inhambane provinces, the green harvest is expected to occur in February and the harvest will start in March. In the interior of Gaza and Inhambane, the green harvest is expected to take place in mid-March and the harvest in April. In much of the central and northern zones, the harvest is expected to start in April and May, respectively. Apart from the green food, the majority of poor households in these areas will continue relying on a range of typical livelihood and coping strategies.

    It is estimated that from January until March 2017, the food insecure people facing Crisis (IPC Phase 3) acute food insecurity or worse may reach 2.3 million, including potential flood-affected people, who may require emergency food assistance. However, it is unclear at this point what the level of planned, funded, and likely humanitarian assistance is beginning in January, the height of the lean season. As a result, if there is not adequate food assistance to cover these needs through March 2017, FEWS NET anticipates that food security outcomes for a greater number of poor households could worsen beyond Crisis (IPC Phase 3) to Emergency (IPC Phase 4) because households will lack the ability to earn enough income that would support their minimum basic needs due to the extremely high staple food prices. From April, with the availability of harvested crops, most poor households will be accessing food from their own produce and their food insecurity outcomes will lessen and will range from either Stressed (IPC Phase 2) to None (IPC Phase 1) depending on the severity of their previous situation. (Note, that FEWS NET’s mapping for February to May 2017 reflects the most severe food security outcomes expected during February and March and not the gradual improvement that will happen later.) The harvest is expected to restore food availability throughout the country, but given the extent of the drought and the fact that this was the second consecutive poor season, it will take poor households time, for many past the end of the scenario period, to fully restore their livelihoods. Depending on the extent of any flooding, which is possible through March, some flood-affected households may still be facing food gaps until they recover through post-flood production in May/June. In addition, in the conflict areas, some poor households may still face Crisis (IPC Phase 3) food security outcomes in April, and possibly into May, since they were unable to adequately plant given insecurity.

    For more information on the outlook for specific areas of concern, please click the download button at the top of the page for the full report.


    Figure 1


    Source: FEWS NET

    Preços de milho de Setembro Comparados à média de cinco anos

    Figure 2

    Preços de milho de Setembro Comparados à média de cinco anos

    Source: FEWS NET

    Início médio das chuvas (em dekadas) com base na análise de dados de 2005 a 2015

    Figure 3

    Início médio das chuvas (em dekadas) com base na análise de dados de 2005 a 2015

    Source: USGS/FEWS NET

    To project food security outcomes, FEWS NET develops a set of assumptions about likely events, their effects, and the probable responses of various actors. FEWS NET analyzes these assumptions in the context of current conditions and local livelihoods to arrive at a most likely scenario for the coming eight months. Learn more here.

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